[UPDATED with Judge's Affirmation:] Armando Macias: DEATH!

Armando-Macias_ocda.jpg
Courtesy of OCDA
Armando Macias
UPDATE, SEPT. 1, 1:26 P.M.: Superior Court Judge Francisco Briseno today affirmed the death sentence for gang member Armando Macias, the triggerman in a bizarre family murder plot in 2002.

A jury that convicted Macias in April for his role in the slaying followed up a month later in Briseno's Santa Ana courtroom by recommending execution for the 35-year-old Lancaster resident.

Macias is the second-to-the-last of multiple defendants to receive their sentences for the slaying in broad daylight of David Montemayor, who was fleeing after briefly breaking free from captors hired by his sister to kill the 44-year-old Buena Park man. Macias fired the killshot into Montemayor's head.

Edelmira Corona, a 34-year-old Pico Rivera resident who helped Deborah Perna arrange the murder of her brother, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in March 2004 and faces a maximum of 22 years in prison at her sentencing scheduled for Oct. 18 in Fullerton.

Perna, 54, of Anaheim, and Pacoima 26-year-old Gerardo Lopez, another gang member recruited to kill Montemayor and who fired at him in 2002, were convicted in 2005 of murder with the special circumstances of committing the murder in the course of attempted robbery and kidnapping. Each was later sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Anthony Navarro, the 44-year-old Canyon Country resident who recruited the San Fernando Valley gang members to kidnap and murder Montemayor, and triggerman Alberto Martinez, 33, of Castaic, each received the death penalty after being convicted on numerous counts.

UPDATE, MAY 20, 9:31 A.M.: The jury Thursday recommended a death sentence for Macias. His formal sentencing before a Santa Ana judge is scheduled July 29.

Keep in mind this is Orange County, home of the
hangin' judges.

UPDATE, MAY 19, 6:08 P.M.: A jury today recommended that gang member Armando Macias, 35, of Lancaster, receive the death penalty for his role in a bizarre family murder plot in 2002.

It was Macias who "executed" 44-year-old David Montemayor, who was fleeing after briefly breaking free from captors hired by his sister to kill him. The death crew was captured the same day following a televised police chase.

Corona pleaded guilty to manslaughter on March 24, 2004. She faces a maximum of 22 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 18, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.


UPDATE, APRIL 21, 5:56 P.M.: A jury in Santa Ana today found Armando Macias guilty of murder--a conviction that could bring the 35-year-old Lancaster gang banger the death penalty.

Macias was part of the family murder plot of businessman David Montemayor, 44, of Buena Park, in 2002.

Macias was found guilty of: special circumstances murder with an allegation for murder for financial gain; possession of a firearm by a felon; being a gang member carrying a loaded firearm in public; kidnapping to commit robbery; attempted murder; two counts of conspiracy to commit a crime; street terrorism with allegations for murder during the commission of another felony; and murder committed for a criminal street gang purpose.

Sentencing enhancement allegations for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death and the personal use of a deadly weapon were also found true.

Opening statements in the death penalty phase of Macias' trial are expected to begin Wednesday in Santa Ana.

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David Montemayor
UPDATE, MARCH 28, 9:34 A.M.: The Orange County district attorney's office (OCDA) today goes for a third death-penalty conviction and sixth and final conviction overall in the 2002 murder of a Buena Park man that was set in motion by his sister, who was jealous he was being handed the reins to the family trucking business.

Armando Macias, 35, of Lancaster, allegedly "executed" 44-year-old David Montemayor, who was fleeing after briefly breaking free from captors in the bizarre family-murder plot that unraveled after his killers were captured following a televised police chase.

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Perna
Deborah Ann Perna, 54, of Anaheim, was not only jealous her father was handing control of the company over to Montemayor, but she also believed her brother was stealing from the business. She asked a co-worker, Edelmira Corona, 34, of Pico Rivera, to help her arrange Montemayor's slaying.

Corona solicited the help of gang member Anthony Navarro, 44, of Canyon County, who recruited three members of a San Fernando Valley gang to kidnap and murder Montemayor: Gerardo Lopez, 26, of Pacoima; Alberto Martinez, 33, of Castaic; and, it is alleged, Macias.

The three kidnappers snatched Montemayor at the family's Rancho Dominguez business on Oct. 2, 2002, and drove him toward the married father of three's Buena Park home, where they had been told Montemayor kept thousands of dollars in cash.

But, with Martinez behind the wheel, Montemayor managed to break out of the car about a mile from his home. That's when Lopez and, it is alleged, Macias fired rounds at the kidnapping victim. According to prosecutors, Macias "executed" Montemayor "by shooting him in the head" as he "fled for his life."

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Photos courtesy of OCDA
Alberto Martinez has already been sentenced to death.
The three baddies drove off and were pursued by law enforcement in what became a televised police chase during rush hour. Police eventually stopped the vehicle and arrested Macias, Lopez and Martinez.

Navarro was convicted on Oct. 18, 2007, and sentenced to receive the death penalty on July 11, 2008. Martinez was convicted on May 6, 2010, and sentenced to receive the death penalty Aug. 6, 2010.

Lopez was convicted on Dec. 14, 2005, and sentenced on June 2, 2006, to life in state prison without the possibility of parole. Perna was convicted of the same on Oct. 28, 2005, and sentenced to the same on Feb. 16, 2006.

Corona pleaded guilty to manslaughter on March 24, 2004. She faces a maximum of 22 years in prison at her April 28 sentencing in Fullerton.


Opening statements are starting about now in Macias' trial in Santa Ana. The OCDA statement that includes the laundry list of charges against him follows on the next page . . .

March 28, 2011

GANG MEMBER FACES DEATH PENALTY JURY TRIAL FOR MURDERING FAMILY BUSINESSMAN IN MURDER-FOR-HIRE CONSPIRACY
*Two co-defendants have previously been sentenced to the death penalty in this case

SANTA ANA - A gang member faces trial today for the special circumstances murder of a family businessman after being recruited in a murder-for-hire conspiracy. Armando Macias, 35, Lancaster, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder with an allegation for murder for financial gain. He is also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, being a gang member carrying a loaded firearm in public, kidnapping to commit robbery, attempted murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, street terrorism with allegations for murder during the commission of another felony and murder committed for a criminal street gang purpose. He faces sentencing enhancement allegations for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death and the personal use of a deadly weapon.

The District Attorney is seeking the death penalty in this case. Opening statements are expected to begin today, March 28, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. in Department C-45, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

The Murder
In 2002, Deborah Perna, 54, Anaheim, became jealous after learning that her father intended to pass control of their family company to her 44-year-old brother, David Montemayor. Perna also believed that her brother was stealing from the business, where she worked as the office manager, and wanted to get rid of him.

Perna asked her co-worker, Edelmira Corona, 34, Pico Rivera, to help her arrange the murder by asking Corona's friend to kill Montemayor. Corona and Perna solicited the help of gang member Anthony Navarro, 44, Canyon County, who recruited three members of a San Fernando Valley gang to kidnap and murder Montemayor in the murder-for-hire plot.

On Oct. 2, 2002, gang member Macias is accused of kidnapping the victim at his family-run business in Rancho Dominguez with co-defendants Gerardo Lopez, 26, Pacoima, and Alberto Martinez, 33, Castaic. The three defendants drove Montemayor, a married father of three, towards the victim's Buena Park home, where they had been told the victim kept thousands of dollars in cash. Martinez was the driver.

Approximately one mile from the residence, the victim was able to escape from the car and run away from his attackers. As the victim ran for his life, Macias is accused of firing his weapon at the fleeing victim, executing him by shooting him in the head. Lopez also fired at the victim.

Martinez drove the three defendants as they fled the scene and became involved in a televised police chase during rush hour. Police eventually stopped the vehicle and arrested Macias, Lopez, and Martinez.

Co-defendants
Martinez was convicted May 6, 2010, of one felony count each of special circumstances murder, conspiracy to commit the crime of murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, kidnapping to commit robbery, and street terrorism. The special circumstances sentencing enhancements for murder for financial gain, murder during the commission of robbery, murder during the commission of kidnapping, and murder committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang were found true. The jury also found true the sentencing enhancements for the vicarious discharge of a firearm causing death as a gang member and criminal street gang activity.  He was sentenced to receive the death penalty Aug. 6, 2010.

Navarro was convicted Oct. 18, 2007, of one felony count of murder with allegations for committing murder during the commission of another felony and murder committed to benefit a criminal street gang. He was also convicted of one felony count of conspiracy to commit a crime and one felony count of street terrorism. The sentencing enhancement for murder committed by gang members with a firearm was found true. He was sentenced to receive the death penalty July 11, 2008.

Perna was convicted Oct. 28, 2005, of murder with the special circumstances of committing the murder in the course of attempted robbery and kidnapping and was sentenced Feb. 16, 2006, to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Lopez was convicted Dec. 14, 2005, of murder with the special circumstances of committing the murder in the course of attempted robbery and kidnapping. He was sentenced June 2, 2006, to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Corona pleaded guilty to manslaughter on March 24, 2004. She faces a maximum of 22 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced April 28, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Mike Murray of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting the case against Macias.

ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 6, 2010, 3:52 A.M.: 53-year-old Deborah Perna, who was the office manager at her family's trucking business, was jealous that her father intended to pass control to her brother, whom she was convinced was stealing from the company. So, the Anaheim resident arranged to have her brother whacked.

Today, a second gang member hired for the hit was sentenced to death for murdering 44-year-old David Montemayor of Buena Park.

And you thought your family was dysfunctional!

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Courtesy of OCDA
Deborah Ann Perna
You'll need a scorecard to follow this one, folks.

Perna asked co-worker Edelmira Corona, 33, of Pico Rivera, to help her arrange the murder of Montemayor.

Corona was to get her friend Anthony Navarro, 43, of Canyon Country, to pull the crime.

Navarro, who belongs to a San Fernando Valley gang, recruited fellow gang bangers for the job: Gerardo Lopez, 25, of Pacoima; Armando Macias, 34, of Lancaster; and Alberto Martinez, 32, of Castaic.

On Oct. 2, 2002, Lopez, Macias and Martinez kidnapped Montemayor at the trucking company in Rancho Dominguez.

Led to believe the married father of three children kept thousands of dollars of cash in his Buena Park home, the kidnappers drove him there.

However, about a mile from his home, Montemayor managed to break free, bolt from the car and run away.

With Martinez behind the wheel of the car, Macias and Lopez fired their guns at Montemayor, who took one of Macias' bullets to his head and died.

The trio sped off, but they became the subject of a televised police chase and were eventually stopped and arrested.

The murder-for-hire plot was then unraveled for investigators.

Today, Martinez was sentenced to die.

He'd been convicted by a jury in Santa Ana May 6 of one felony count each of special circumstances murder, conspiracy to commit the crime of murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, kidnapping to commit robbery and street terrorism. The special circumstances sentencing enhancements for murder for financial gain, murder during the commission of robbery, murder during the commission of kidnapping, and murder committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang were found true. The jury also found true the sentencing enhancements for the vicarious discharge of a firearm causing death as a gang member and criminal street gang activity.

At today's sentencing hearing, Montemayor's surviving wife and children testified.

The wife said she had been a stay-at-home mom for the kids--who were 7, 9 and 11 at the time of the murder--and that her husband was the bread-winner. She said she became the head of the household from the moment detectives knocked on her door to deliver the news of her husband's death. He had worked hard and looked forward to enjoying their golden years together. Now she feels duty-bound to be there for him at all the court hearings tied to the case.

Her children recalled being told of their father's death by their mom and a priest. The youngest child did not know what that meant. The middle child talked of the difficulty of growing up without a father and the pain felt when friends talked about their dads. The oldest said her memory of her father is the cemetery where he is buried.

Aunt Debbie was convicted of murder with the special circumstances of committing the murder in the course of attempted robbery and kidnapping and was sentenced in 2006 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Corona pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2004 and faces a maximum sentence of 22 years in prison at an Oct. 14 hearing in Fullerton.

Navarro got death in 2008 after being convicted of one felony count of murder with allegations for committing murder during the commission of another felony and murder committed to benefit a criminal street gang. He was also convicted of one felony count of conspiracy to commit a crime and one felony count of street terrorism. The sentencing enhancement for murder committed by gang members with a firearm was found true.

Lopez was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in 2006 after being convicted of murder with the special circumstances of committing the murder in the course of attempted robbery and kidnapping.

Macias is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder with an allegation for murder for financial gain. He is also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, being a gang member carrying a loaded firearm in public, kidnapping to commit robbery, attempted murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, street terrorism with allegations for murder during the commission of another felony and murder committed for a criminal street gang purpose. He faces sentencing enhancement allegations for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death and the personal use of a deadly weapon. And he has a prior strike for a 1994 manslaughter conviction.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Macias, who has a pre-trial hearing scheduled for Sept. 17 in Santa Ana.

This post began by noting how dysfunctional Perna's family was. They've got company when it comes to Martinez, whose defense team argued at sentencing that his parents were both child molesters.

According to the Orange County district attorney's office, there is no evidence his parents were molesters.


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4 comments
David
David

So Deborah did not profit from this murder, hire these fools nor did she know the murderers and she get's stiffed with life without parole?  Ignorant California judicial system!  Rethink this people Mira was a banger and sought after these lowlifes.  Without Mira there would have been NO murder, yet she gets off scott free?  Why you ask, because she pussed out and sang like a canary for the DA to prosecute.  And a lot of her singing were stretches of what really transpired between she and Debbie.  Also M Castaneda, you know the family?  If you did, you would know that Michael died 6 months prior to David being killed and his cause of death was affixiation.  Michael was under the influence of crack and had a seizure (that of which was common for him to have seizures) to which he drowned in his own vomit.  Autopsy suspected the seizure was a result from potential overdosing...

M Castaneda59
M Castaneda59

I know the family and just saw the show on Id channel about this murder as for Debbie I could easily see her doing this she is a complete bitch. The crazy thing is they had another brother mike who Debbie was In charge of giving his med was found dead in the warehouse about a year earlier.

luvthepugs
luvthepugs

The shitbag fucking sister should have received the death penalty too.. She was the mastermind behind the whole freaking thing!!! The whole plan wouldn't have happened had she not instigated it with hiring people, but yet she gets life and the shooters get the death penalty?? I think all that were involved should have received the death penalty!!!

Porky
Porky

I agree the greedy cruel SISTER should have gotten the death yet she gets what 22-to life and the other people should have gotten life.. retarded justice system

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